AC360 Tuesday 8p

Ferry crew members answered questions about why more life rafts were not deployed. Tonight on AC360, the latest from South Korea on the effort to reach victims.
February 8th, 2010
08:05 AM ET

Dear President Obama #385: Trapped in Indiana: Part Four ... But with a lovely twist!

Reporter's Note: President Obama has not lost electricity, communications, or transportation during the great DC blizzard. And he calls himself a man of the people…sheesh. I have half a mind not to write my daily letter to the White House. But it is precisely my “half mind” that compels me to do so…

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

With some luck, my elder daughter and I will finally climb aboard a plane back to DC today, after coming to Indiana last Wednesday and being stuck here ever since we first thought of heading home. We may not feel so lucky even if we make it. At last report my wife says the house is still without power and ice cold now. Even the dog is complaining. Looks like we lost a tree or two as well. So once I get there I assume I will be cleaning up, checking for leaks, and of course shoveling, shoveling, shoveling, especially since we expect more snow this week.

That said the daughter and I had an excellent Super Bowl Sunday. We slept late then took a drive through Indianapolis, and after enjoying a lunchtime repast completely surrounded by Colts fans in their paraphernalia, we decided it was time to fight back. We went into a Walmart, scored some snacks, black and gold streamers, poster board and markers. Initially we just wanted to have a little Saints Super Bowl party back at our hotel room while we watched, but then we thought, “Why not spread the love?”

We sat in the parking lot and quickly drew up some snappy “Go Saints!” and “Who Dat?” and “Feel the Brees!” signs which we taped into the windows of our rental car. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon riding around listening to Michael Jackson and Cheap Trick while we exchanged good-natured traveling jests with other drivers. Some seem puzzled, because frankly we were the one and only car we saw in our entire stay here that had any insignia for the Saints. A few were angry, or at least seemed that way; probably the Indiana plates on our rental car added to their sense of betrayal. But most people laughed and waved and pointed to their own Colts shirts and flags, and we laughed and waved back. These Indiana folks are really very nice people. All in all it was a blast; a memory my daughter and I will no doubt share for years. Our crowning moment was when I pulled up outside the Colts’ stadium and she posed next to the car with the big “Who Dat?” glowing next to her with the stadium and an enormous picture of Peyton Manning in the background. Then we cast one last desperate voodoo spell and headed back to watch.

I cannot describe how it felt after all these years, after all the heartbreaking losses, the painful fumbles, the agonizing seasons, to see the Saints play that way. I know it is just a football game, and the Colts are a great team, and any other day they might have won. I wish only the best for their fans who have been so welcoming to us this week. But for this game on this night, it really felt like magic.

New Orleans is a city that I love so deeply, and it has been through so much; it is impossible to state what this means, but I’ll try. As one of the Saints said after the game (or maybe the team owner) it was a message to the world that New Orleans is back; business is recovering, schools are improving, and the quality of life is getting better every day. It was also a reminder to all of us, that every dog has his day. Hard times come to us all, and usually more often than good ones; but perseverance, hard work, dedication, and patience bring better days.

Like I said, my words are failing me now. Suffice to say that I am deliriously happy and have been trading phone calls, text messages, and e-mails with all my friends in the Who Dat nation. I’m still being kept out of my home by a blizzard, but at least now I know the reason: Hell really did freeze over.

Go Saints. Go New Orleans. Super Bowl Champions. I never thought I’d see the day; but I always had faith that I might.

Regards,

Tom

Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. KC514

    Tom,
    I love your letters to the President and read them every day. You see life and issues through the eyes of your heart which is a rare and special gift. With all the complicated problems we face as individuals and as a nation these days, it's so refreshing to read a voice that is able to sort through all the "bull" of politicians and special interests, and focus on the heart of the issues. As I watched all the "before" coverage of the Super Bowl, I agreed with Bill Cowher when he said that the reason he thought the Saints would win is that they were motivated by a cause greater than themselves. Over the years I have seen so many circumstances where people have triumphed over adversity because they believed they could all evidence to the contrary. In this case I was perplexed by the media's adulation of Peyton Manning and their belief that Drew Brees wasn't as good a player. I began to believe that none of them could read statistics. Drew is by nature a reserved person who is not comfortable making everything about himself but rather giving full credit to the other players and the Saints coaches and organization and the FANS. Yesterday's game was about redemption for the Saints, their fans, New Orleans and Louisiana. I can't remember when I've watched a more satisfying game. And I've been watching since the mid 1950s.

    February 8, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  2. kpassion

    What a game

    February 8, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  3. Renee

    Thanks Tom your a great guy. Way to go on them saints bet you pissed someone off in indiana..

    February 8, 2010 at 9:40 am |
  4. Tim Gibson

    The fact that hell froze over must be Pal-in comparison a 1,000 or so were shoveling out even in Nashville I hear. Persistant in spite of warnings to stay indoors. That kind of dedication is beyond a mark of affection or regard.

    Steadfast decision making, endurance of long term difficult circumstances as in New Orleans, is indeed a message that WE ARE BACK, this is our year, our time to shine. 2010 will be the year when we are transformed by virtue.

    February 8, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  5. Lynn

    Tom – WHO DAT!!

    February 8, 2010 at 9:18 am |
  6. Summer

    WHO DAT

    February 8, 2010 at 9:14 am |
  7. james

    WHO DAT.

    February 8, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  8. Jed Brown

    I really like image you show of the fans of the Colts who laughed and waived. I am relatively young and I feel as though I am naive enough to hope for a political climate that is similar to the picture you have painted.

    I hope for a day when there is no winner and now loser, but an American people who... ugh! I'm a ranter.

    You have given us a window into your world and your honesty has given... me a reason to care. I hope all is well with your family and that your house will be warm soon.

    Peace,
    Jed

    February 8, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  9. Floy Dean DeLaune

    It has been a delight to follow your "travels" with your daughter with the Dear Pres. Obama letters.

    Thanks for support the great state of Louisiana and your sense of humor.

    Louisiana is a great state. Just wish the rest of the world could see it.

    Best of luck with your home repair. We in south may not understand snow but we sure in heck know about diasters.

    God Bless you and we ARE #44 SUPERBOWL CHAMPS – Love the SAINTS and #WHODAT Nation

    February 8, 2010 at 8:15 am |